3 Aug 2002

Tuvalu MPs elect new prime minister

9:58 am on 3 August 2002

Members of the new Tuvalu parliament have elected Saufatu Sopoanga as the country's new prime minister.

Sopoanga, who was finance minister in the outgoing Talake administration defeated opposition candidate, Amasone Kilei by eight votes to seven.

Maati Toafa has been elected deputy prime minister and also holds the portfolios of Works, Communications and Transport.

A new Speaker is expected to be elected today.

Although Tuvalu does not have a formal party system, MPs with similar political ideologies group together to form a government.

The country's constitution makes no provision for an opposition, so those who voted for Kilei will be viewed as comprising the opposition.